AcctTwo Helps Multi-Campus, Multi-Entity Church Graduate from Shelby to Sage Intacct
Established in 1954, Bethel Church is a non-denominational charismatic megachurch with three physical campuses, as well as an online campus, based in Redding, California. The church has a congregation of roughly 11,000. The finance team at Bethel Church manages six different entities, including the church, a music label and publishing company, a media provider, a conservatory, and a technical school - all of which are run on Sage Intacct. The organization has been on the Sage Intacct platform for about a year, having migrated from Shelby v.5, an accounting system the church used for roughly 20 years.
The church finance team found budgeting to be cumbersome and began to feel that the system was antiquated. Mac users had to log into a separate server to use the accounting system. "It made for a really clunky process," says John Raftery, CFO at Bethel Church. "In order to perform one task, it could take up to three steps."
As the church expanded its operations, the structure changed - some of what were once different departments became separate legal entities. Managing those entities with their existing system was a very manual process. Financials for each entity had to be run separately and then consolidated in Excel, with no ability to drill down to the transaction level. Because of these challenges and the lack of anywhere, anytime web access, the church began to look for something more accessible and browser-based.
Capabilities needed in a new system identified by the finance team included automated multi-entity consolidations and a cloud- or web-based user interface. They had also grown frustrated with the processes around maintenance releases and the amount of time it would take for the system to be fully operable after a release. The church wanted to move to a more modern, innovative solution.
With Shelby's announced end to maintenance for their v.5 product in March of 2020, the obvious path for Bethel Church seemed to be ShelbyNEXT, a web-based version of the Shelby product. The team's mindset was more that they needed to upgrade, rather than needing to do a software evaluation and consider moving to a new platform. Another church recommended they look at Sage Intacct and that changed their perspective. "It was a real 'wow' moment when we saw Sage Intacct," says Raftery. "Sage Intacct expanded our thinking. It gave us insight into our potential and once we realized what was available, it didn't take long to realize that Sage Intacct would add so many capabilities for us."
Bethel Church is a large organization with many moving parts. That made implementing an entirely new accounting system a challenge. Teaming up with AcctTwo's implementation team helped make that processes smoother. AcctTwo has a team of former church finance leaders who have implemented Sage Intacct for nearly 150 churches. "We had a good, solid implementation experience with AcctTwo," says Raftery. "Our organization is very diverse and complex and the AcctTwo team was able to navigate that complexity very well."
With Sage Intacct, Bethel Church has taken advantage of a number of features unavailable to them with their former system. Raftery highlighted a few:
"With Sage Intacct, our lives are easier," continues Raftery. "We're better equipped to get our work done. Generating board reports was cut by 5-10 hours compared with how we had to run reports before and manually compile the data. It's night and day. We're all happier."
Raftery and his team emphasized Sage Intacct's reporting many times during our conversation. Bethel Church manages a large number of events and the finance team generates reports on those events on a weekly or bi-monthly basis. The ability to "memorize" or clone those reports and schedule them to go out has been a life changer. "That feature alone has saved my team untold hours," says Raftery.
Drill-down capability in Sage Intacct - running a General Ledger report and drilling down to AP to see where the transaction came from and look at the back-up documentation - is another feature Raftery and his team emphasized. "Previously, we had to go to a separate module and navigate a confusing back-up system. This has saved us hours of work and probably our sanity."
In addition to Sage Intacct's accounting and ERP functionality, the system's platform development capabilities have become part of the conversation as well. The organization needed a new artist and writer's commission system and worked with AcctTwo's Sage Intacct + team to build that as a module on the Sage Intacct platform. We hope to learn more about that process and how the church is using that application in a future customer story.
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AcctTwo is focused on delivering the future of finance and accounting to its customers. AcctTwo has three main solutions – Cloud-based Accounting Software, Managed Accounting Services, and Software Development, all built around Sage Intacct’s best-in-class financial applications. Our dedicated team of more than 100 people has helped more than 800 organizations optimize finance and accounting through software implementations, accounting outsourcing, and consulting. AcctTwo has been recognized by Sage Intacct as its Partner of the Year from 2014 – 2018 and by our customers as the leader in overall satisfaction through their reviews on G2Crowd.
AcctTwo is headquartered in Houston, Texas. For more information, please visit www.accttwo.com or call 713-744-8400.
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